GEOGRAPHY IN THE NEWS:
Was it just your imagination that our response to the coronavirus took on a partisan political tone? According to political scientists at Princeton and Queens College (New York), it was not your imagination. An analysis of Google Mobility Reports collected from Feb. 15 to Apr. 26 allowed researchers to compare patterns of movement before and after the coronavirus state of emergency. Before March 13, patterns of movement in Democratic counties (in which Donald Trump received <20% of the vote in 2016) and Republican counties (in which Donald Trump received >80% of the vote in 2016) were very similar. After March 13, though, movement in Democratic counties fell 14 percentage points more than movement in Republican counties did, even when adjusting for population density, education, age, and race. The gap remained persistent, regardless of rise in COVID-19 cases or governors' orders. "Even when a governor issued a directive to stay home, the pattern remained: Pro-Trump counties with low education [defined by researchers as having at least 5% more high school dropouts than college graduates] were much less likely to change their behavior than others." www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/05/14/where-are-people-less-likely-obey-coronavirus-restrictions-republican-counties/
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